Louisiana Senate candidate Gary Chambers burns Confederate flag in latest viral ad

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Gary Chambers Jr., a U.S. Senate candidate from Louisiana who went viral for smoking marijuana in his first campaign ad, is back with another provocative spot in which he burns a Confederate flag.

The ad, which was released on Wednesday, begins with Chambers holding an American flag and quoting the Declaration of Independence.

“They said, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,’” Chambers says. “But here in Louisiana and all around the South, it feels like Jim Crow never left and the remnants of the Confederacy remain.

“The attacks against Black people, our right to vote and participate in this democracy are methodical,” he continues in the 60-second spot, pouring gasoline on the flag. “Gerrymandered districts are a byproduct of the Confederacy. Our system isn’t broken. It’s designed to do exactly what it’s doing, which is producing measurable inequity. One in 13 Black Americans are deprived of the right to vote. One in nine Black Americans do not have health insurance. One in three Black children live in poverty.”

Chambers then pulls out a lighter emblazoned with his initials and ignites the flag.

The Baton Rouge native gained attention last month with a campaign ad in which he was smoking marijuana. But Chambers faces an uphill climb in a crowded Louisiana Senate race attempting to unseat Republican incumbent John Kennedy.

The new video is not the first time Chambers has referenced the Confederacy. A clip of him at a school board meeting went viral on social media in the summer of 2020 after he called out a board member for shopping online while community members were debating whether to rename a local school named after Robert E. Lee.

“I’ve never been shy to share my perspective,” Chambers told Yahoo News earlier this month. “And I think that as I've gotten older and had a deeper understanding of how the world works, I just can’t sit back and be quiet when I see things that need to be addressed.”

Chambers is among a number of Democrats hoping to unseat Kennedy, whose seat has been rated by the nonpartisan Cook Political Report as “solid Republican.” He believes that a progressive campaign will energize Black voters in a state where they make up 33 percent of the population. Democrat John Bel Edwards has won the state’s last two gubernatorial elections running as a moderate, but Donald Trump earned nearly 60 percent of the vote in 2020.

According to the latest campaign filing via OpenSecrets, Chambers’s campaign currently has no cash on hand, versus more than $11 million for Kennedy.